Succession Planting for Lazy Chicken Feed


You plant your bush bean seeds and wait patiently until little green sprouts emerge from the ground.  Your plants grow, leaves unfurl, and flowers appear.  One morning you spy tiny beans hanging from the plants.  The beans grow longer.  You finally begin to harvest them for dinner.

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The next morning you find a few holes in the leaves.  Small yellow larvae show up on the plants.  They multiply.  Now many of the beans have holes in them.  Your harvest seems ruined.  But it depends what you think you are growing, now doesn’t it?  So when are bean beetle larvae a good thing?  When you are growing your own chicken food!

 Blog20  bean beetle larvae

For years we fought against bean beetles.  We handpicked them, we used organic sprays, and we rotated the plants.  Nothing worked well.  If you pick before they reach full maturity, a good bush bean harvest should continue for many weeks.  New flowers continue to form when you pick frequently.  Yet we kept losing our crop to the bean beetles after only a few harvests.

Wait a minute!  We also raise chickens.  Chickens eat bugs and larvae.  We were getting good at growing bugs.  Why were we fighting them so hard?  Sometimes you just need to look at your problems from another angle.  So now we grow beans, and we grow bugs.  Here’s how it works.

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